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Resumes Don’t Tell the Whole Story: How a Job Application Fills in the Gaps for Smarter Hiring – Small Business Trends

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According to a recent HRdirect Small Business Hiring Practices Survey, only 21% of small businesses require applicants to complete forms to get hired. Not having this essential part of your screening and hiring processes can be a tremendous shortcoming that hinders your success. Here’s why: Slick resumes may immediately grab your attention, but these may not present the entire picture about your applicants.

To get around this — and obtain the information you want from a wide range of candidates — you need a legally sound job application. A thorough process captures the right information so you then can make smarter decisions and strengthen your overall hiring processes.

The Aim of Candidates Is to “Sell”

A resume acts as a promotional tool for the applicant. It’s his or her opportunity to impress, to sell you on his or her qualifications.

And like most promotional tools, resumes vary tremendously — and only contain what the applicant is willing to share. They may omit all kinds of information you would like to have; however, having the right tools for recruitment, you can get the answers to make better selections.

Net More of What You’re After

Using a standardized process for job applications can help give you a complete picture by asking specific questions in a uniform and compliant manner. These questions may include:

  • Full legal name
  • Email address (instead of residential address)
  • Phone number(s)
  • Preferred name
  • Employment history
  • Education (degrees and certifications)
  • Military service (relevant skills, dates of service)
  • Skills and qualifications
  • References
  • Reasons for leaving previous jobs

If it’s beneficial, you can go beyond these essentials to include a few more probing questions. For example:

  • Why are there breaks in an applicant’s employment? Ask the candidate to explain why.
  • Interested in how they interact with others? Have him or her describe to describe a relationship with a past supervisor or describe his or way in handling a conflict.
  • What is the applicant’s availability? Ask the number of hours they can work weekly or preferred shifts.

One of the bigger advantages of having a formal application is that it provides a level playing field and immediate point of comparison. Rather than slogging through all types of resumes, you quickly can compare and categorize standardized applications for a faster, more efficient screening process.

Another important advantage: A formalized, standardized process for your applicants should contain compliant language and legal disclosures that protect you from the potential for risks, that clearly state you uphold legal notices at the federal and state levels.

Connect with More Candidates with State-Specific Job Applications

Having job applications brings critical benefits to your small business. You easily, quickly and confidently can net relevant information related to employment experience and education while protecting or safeguarding your business from compliance risks.

The Job Application Smart App from HRdirect is the perfect tool for connecting with more job candidates. Email applicants with a link to your application, place it on your website, include it in your online ad or print paper copies for walk-in applicants. In addition to these convenient options, your application always will cover the latest state regulations to keep you current and on firm legal footing.

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